Cardiopulmonary resuscitation also known as CPR is a procedure performed on cardiac arrest victims to revive their heart rhythm. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops functioning. The risk of cardiac arrest increases with age. However, anyone can fall victim. A set of factors are known to cause heart problems. Among them include lifestyle and genetic factors.
Cardiac arrest can affect healthy persons without prior heart problems. Corporate safety managers should be aware of the causes, symptoms and management of cardiac arrest cases. The symptoms of cardiac arrest include loss of consciousness and unresponsiveness. Victims may also experience chest pain or discomfort, feeling of light-headedness or collapsing, palpitations and shortness of breath.
How Does Cardiac Arrest Occur?
Cardiac arrest occurs as a result of disrupted heart rhythm. Certain heart rhythm are known to cause cardiac arrest and they include:
Ventricular fibrillation is a critical heart condition which occurs when the electrical activities of the heart are disorderly. Instead of contracting, the ventricles, which usually pump blood to the rest of the body quiver. In this case, the heart is not pumping blood leading to some organs lacking enough oxygen supply. Some of the known causes of ventricular fibrillation include:
- Damage to heart muscles from a previous cardiac arrest
- Severe body infections or sepsis
- Limited blood supply to the heart muscles
- Problems with aorta
Ventricular tachycardia refers to a heart rate that is above normal. For adults, a heart rate of above 100beats per minute is too fast. The heart condition is also known as atrial or supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). It begins with the upper chambers of the heart which fire abnormally resulting in a faster heart rate. This increased heart rate prevents the heart chambers from filling up completely before contracting. The irregular heart rate disrupts the blood flow through the body. People with this condition have a low risk of cardiac arrest except for extreme cases.
People at a higher risk of the condition include:
- Young people with a anxiety
- Children as opposed to older persons
- Women are at a higher risk than men
- People who consume high levels of caffeine
- Persons with fatigue
- Heavy alcohol consumers
- Heavy smokers
Bradycardia is more common in the elderly people. It occurs from a slow heart rate. The condition is likely to result in a cardiac arrest if the heart rate is not effectively pumping blood to vital body organs especially the brain and heart muscles. A heart rate depends on the age of the individual and physical activity. For a rested adult, a heart rate of below 60 falls under bradycardia.
Bradycardia results from:
- Malfunction of the sinoatrial node which is the hearts pacemaker.
- Problems with the hearts electrical systems that don’t allow for signals to move effectively from the atria to the ventricles.
- Damages to the heart from previous heart attack or heart illnesses.
- It cans also result from heart medications as a side effect.
Any heart condition can potentially result in a cardiac arrest. The most common heart conditions likely to cause cardiac arrest include:
- Scarring of the heart tissue from previous a heart attack or otherwise.
- Thickening of the heart muscles (cardiomyopathy)
- Some heart medications increase the risk of cardiac arrest.
- Abnormalities with the electrical heart functions.
- Abnormalities with hearts blood vessels.
- The use of recreational drugs puts one at an increased risk of cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest can occur to healthy individuals while carrying out their normal duties. It’s best for institutions and organizations to prepare for health emergencies. There is limited time for saving the life of a cardiac arrest victim. Every second that passes by without CPR reduces the chances of survival.
How to Prepare for Cardiac Arrest Cases at the Work Place?
CPR is the only known procedure for saving cardiac arrest victims. The earlier the process is initiated, the higher the chances of survival of the victim. It is important for the rescuer to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest within the shortest time possible. There a wide range of reasons as to why organizations should acquire CPR trained and skilled employees.
CPR Saves Lives:
So many people are saved through CPR. CPR is performed through chest compressions which act as an artificial heartbeat. The blood in circulation has enough oxygen to keep a person alive for some time. The CPR keeps the victim alive by keeping maintaining blood circulation through the human body. CPR focus on circulation, airway and breathing.
Rising Cases of Cardiac Arrest
The rates of cardiac arrest are on the rise. Studies conducted in 2020 by the American heart association show that 356,000 people experience cardiac arrest out of hospital. Out of these only 10% survive. It, therefore, becomes basic to have a CPR certified employee around in case such happens. There are many factors that contribute to cardiac arrest. Unlike in the past when heart problems were thought to be lifestyle related, perfectly healthy persons experience cardiac arrest.
There is a limited number of CPR certified individuals in the United States and across the world. Even with increased cases of cardiac arrest, there are limited professionals. Only 39.2% of out of hospital cardiac arrest victims received CPR from laypersons. The AED was only used in 7.3% of these cases. According to data collected from CPR training provider’s, the percentage of CPR trained persons in the United States stands at only 2.39%.
What Entails CPR Training?
CPR procedure involves easy to follow procedures. Anyone can train on CPR regardless of age and educational qualifications.
In CPR classes, you get to acquire skills in the following:
- Importance of CPR in saving cardiac arrest victims- the training covers the whole idea of CPR and how it works in saving lives. Understanding the concept behind CPR makes it more likely for the rescuer to do it right and as required and provide high quality CPR. The quality of CPR depends on the depth of the chest compressions and their frequency.
- How to recognize signs of cardiac arrest in a victim early enough to offer the necessary help. CPR training provides the knowledge and skills to recognize cardiac arrest victims before they fall completely unconscious and offer immediate CPR to save their lives.
- How and when to call for help. A CPR trained professional have a knowledge to call for help whether alone or in a team while maintaining the necessary chest compressions. Calling for help is critical because professional rescue teams are more equipped and they are also able to transport the victim to a health care facility for the necessary care and treatment. A single rescuer and teams also get fatigued performing CPR which results in low quality CPR.
- You learn how to perform one person CPR and as a team. Working alone in providing CPR is not easy. Uncoordinated and semiskilled rescue teams can compromise on the quality of CPR provided. It is important to have a team leader and work together in an orderly manner to avoid wasting time in the basic procedures.
- Difference in CPR for children and adults. High quality CPR is highly dependent on the depth of the chest compressions. The depth of chest compressions differs for infants, children and adults. The same applies to the intensity of ventilation. The wrong CPR procedure could be harmful to children and infants and can cause more damage.
- How to perform hands only CPR. When done properly, hands only CPR is very effective in keeping cardiac arrest victims alive.
- How to provide CPR with rescue breaths safely. Performing rescue breaths to a stranger posses risks more so during this covid-19 pandemic. When providing first aid, the health of the rescuer comes first. CPR is a highly aerosol generating procedure. The training offers new and updated guidelines on how to rescue a cardiac arrest victim without risking your own life.
- When and how to use the AED alongside CPR to save a life. The AED is critical in reviving cardiac arrest victims. The device is easy to use even for non professionals. It however requires training, which is provided under CPR AED certification programs.
- The use of AED for infants, children and adults to deliver the desired shock. The amount of shock differs depending on the age bracket of the victim. The AED is designed with adult and pediatric pads which deliver regulated levels of shock. Rescuers need to be aware of the types of pads to use as well as the precautionary measures of use.
- When to stop giving CPR and provide care for the victim once conscious. CPR should continue until the victim regains consciousness. In other cases, the rescuers are left without choice but to stop CPR. The decision on whether to stop CPR is not easy. After regaining consciousness, the victim still requires close supervision and check up.
Some careers require CPR certification such as lifeguards, those working in the health care and security guards among others. It is however basic that businesses invest in CPR training and first aid. Health emergencies are very common at the work place. Employees spend most of their waking hours at their places of work which increases the risk and need for CPR skilled personnel. While some organization sponsor their employees for CPR certification programs, others make it a requirement at recruitment. First aid and CPR certification programs are relatively cheap and easily accessible through online platforms for interested persons. The benefits of CPR certification in the current world cannot be ignored.
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